When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.
- Whether you want to boost your communication skills or just join a fun class in your free time, a comedy course can improve your personal and professional life.
- Below are some online classes that can up your funniness and joke-crafting chops, from virtual improv and stand-up courses to satire writing workshops.
- Sign up for Insider Reviews' weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals.
It's no secret that having a sense of humor is a crucial life skill. Laughter is scientifically proven to enhance your physical health, improve your relationships, and even help you come up with better ideas at work. But it can also feel like funniness is reserved for only certain kinds of people — that you're either a natural comedian or not.
Luckily, you don't have to be the next Kate McKinnon to benefit from a few comedy-focused classes. If you want something fun to do after work, you can sign up for a virtual improv, stand-up, or comedy writing class that can also help you make new remote friends. (Nothing breaks the ice like a "yes, and" exercise!)
You can also enroll in or audit classes that mesh humor with important career skills, whether you want to market your wittiest ideas better or foster a more collaborative office environment as a manager.
Whichever route you take, feeling more confident about your joke-telling abilities can change how you present ideas at work and connect with new people. But most importantly, it's bound to make you happier, at a time when you could probably use a mood boost the most.
10 affordable online comedy classes:
Ultimate Beginner's Class to Learning Stand-Up Comedy
Available on Udemy, $14.99 for the course
Always wanted to try stand-up but been a little scared to? Besides this course being fully remote and a little more approacable than an IRL class, it'll cover the core pieces of stand-up, from crafting a good set to preparing for your first "live" (read: video) performance. And because it's taught by a professional stand-up comic, you'll also explore the thing you probably fear the most: bombing. You'll get tips on how to get through a failed set, deal with hecklers, and even host comedy shows yourself.
Judd Apatow Teaches Comedy
Available on MasterClass, $15 a month for the course or $180 for annual membership
If you're going to take a class that teaches you stand-up skills and comedy scriptwriting, who better to teach it than Judd Apatow? Besides being the creative force behind "Bridesmaids," "40-Year-Old-Virgin," "Knocked Up," and way too many other movies to list, he also came from surprisingly humble beginnings: his first real exposure to stand-up was as a comedy club dishwasher when he was 15. In this course, Apatow shares his life story before doing a deep dive into writing, performing, and structuring work that will genuinely make people laugh.
UCB's Open Courses
Available on UCB, prices vary based on the class
The legendary Upright Citizens Brigade's alum list could go on forever: Amy Poehler, Donald Glover, Aubrey Plaza, Ed Helms. If you've always dreamed of taking a class but couldn't because of where you live, you can now take full advantage of UCB's online courses here. Offerings range from improv and stand-up to sketch-writing and character performance. Note: As always, UCB spots fill up quickly, so keep an eye out for more classes if these are no longer available.
Remotely Humorous: Build Joyful and Resilient Virtual Teams With Humor
Available on edX, $186.30 for the full course; individual courses free to audit
When it comes to being a great leader, a sense of humor may not be the first important quality you think of. But according to this course's instructors (who are also both Stanford lecturers), levity can transform a workplace. With a curriculum that's co-written by some of the internet's funniest voices, this class equips you with the skills to lighten up any Zoom meeting. Ultimately, you'll leave with a greater knowledge of how to connect your teammates in a meaningful way, and, best of all, make work way more fun for everyone. The full course is $186.30, but you can audit each individual class in the program for free. You can read more about this class here.
Going Viral: Write, Film & Make Content People Share
Available on Skillshare, included in free 1-month basic subscription trial, then $19.99 per month or $99 per year
Whether you yearn to be a TikTok star or just want to write snappier social media copy, this 70-minute class is a crash-course in channeling your comedic voice. Taught by internet star, author and podcast host Matt Bellassai, this video gives you quick, practical advice on how to write sharper headlines, come up with stronger tweets, and develop a signature style of humor that still feels authentic and, most importantly, funny.
Improv Escape (Online)
Available on The Second City, $95 for 4 classes
Like UCB, The Second City is another iconic comedian training ground with a long list of famous former students. And, like UCB, if you've wanted to take a class but don't live in a Second City-city, you can access all their virtual courses right here. One that can be especially fun if you want a low-commitment, good time is their "Improv Escape," which is basically a more relaxed version of an improv class designed to help you unwind while flexing your comedic muscles. (They also have a similar version if you prefer stand-up.)
Become a Better and Funnier Speaker
Available on CreativeLive, $29 for the class
Taught by David Nihill, author of "Do You Talk Funny?", this class concentrates more on the public speaking aspect of comedy. Through over three hours of videos, you'll learn how to grab an audience from the start (even if your presentation topic isn't meant to be funny) and make your speech stick to people's minds, whether you're talking through a slideshow at work or giving a wedding toast.
Reductress Satire Writing Workshop
Available on Reductress, $60 for the course
Whether you're already an avid Reductress reader or just wish you could write satirical stories as well as its writers do, this one-off remote class teaches you how to craft a hilarious headline, structure an article or list, and zhush up the jokes so your punchline has maximum impact. It's especially great if you're obsessed with topical or political comedy and want to find the humor in even the bleakest news stories.
"How to Write Funny" by Scott Dikkers
Available on Audible, included in free 1-month trial, $14.95 per month after Audible Premium trial ends
If you're constantly sharing links from The Onion with your friends, this audiobook is perfect for you. Written and narrated by the founder of The Onion, this book teaches you about "funny filters" and other joke-writing hacks to speed up your comedic process. You'll also learn how to get through writer's block or just those moments where you feel like nothing you say is funny.
"Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations With Today's Top Comedy Writers" by Mike Sacks
Available on Amazon, $9.99 on Kindle and $18 on paperback
Sometimes the best way to learn how to do something is to ask the experts. This book features interviews from some of the biggest names in comedy, from Amy Poehler and Bill Hader to Mel Brooks and Patton Oswalt. Whether you're looking for juicy behind-the-scenes stories or insight on which sketches really grab people's attention, this book is worth a read.
Sign up for Insider Reviews’ weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals.
You can purchase syndication rights to this story here.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected]
Source: Read Full Article